Friday, January 25, 2008

Eva's Very Own Meme

Tagged by Jill, Nicola and Gautami, how could I resist joining in on the fun of filling out Eva's meme?

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

This question proved harder than some of the other ones. I have finally settled on Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. I still do not know what all the fuss is about over the movie now that I have finally seen it, and I imagine that has quelled some of my interest in ever reading the book.

If you could bring 3 characters to life for a social event, who would they be and what would you do?

I can think of any number of characters I would love to bring together and hobnob with. This time around, my selected characters are gathering together for a book club meeting. What better way to spend an afternoon than discussing books? Please come join Elizabeth Bennet, Margaret Lea, Roger Mifflin, and me if you are free!

(This is borrowed from the Thursday Next series.) You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for a while, eventually you realize that it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

My first choice falls in the nonfiction category, which automatically disqualifies it. I have read some boring novels in my time and I obviously survived. I, Tutus: Book Two: Citizen of Rome by Don Phillips maybe. It is the sequel to another book I have read, which, while it did have its good points, I still had to drag myself through most of it.

Come on, we've all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted that you've read, when in fact you've been nowhere near it?

If the question above is taken at face value, I can honestly answer no. If you take out the last part of the question, that I have been nowhere near the book, well, then it's an entirely different matter.

I was assigned to read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley during a college literature course, and I lost interest in it pretty quickly. For the first and last time in my college career, I failed to complete a required reading assignment. I carried on as if I had read it during the discussions and exams that term, earned a decent grade, and have yet to try reading the book again although I would like to give it another try someday.

Has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realize when you read a review or go to "reread" it that you haven't?

No, I cannot think of any titles off hand where this has been an issue.

You're interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you'd recommend and why? (Go ahead and personalize the VIP if it helps.)

A trick that sometimes works for me is to find out what type of movies the person enjoys watching or perhaps the person has a particular hobby or interest that might give me some ideas of where to start.

A good fairy comes along and grants you one wish: You will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

My first thought is Russian--all those wonderful novels that I would be able to read in their native tongue. However, for more practical reasons, I think I would most likely choose Spanish in the end. I have not spent much time exploring literature written originally in Spanish, however, I am sure there are quite a few gems out there.

A mischievous fairy comes and says you must choose one book you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can reread other books as well). Which book would you pick?

I rarely reread books, and while there are many I would not mind returning to again someday, I worry that I would grow bored if I read the same book year after year for the rest of my life. One book I have reread and am sure I will read again someday is Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. That is a story I have yet to grow tired of.

I know that the book blogging community and its various challenges have pushed my reading borders. What's one bookish thing you discovered from book blogging?

I have been introduced to many new books and authors that I had never heard of before. There are probably even a few I would not have considered had a fellow blogger not offered especially alluring insight into the books that I would miss at quick glance of cover and synopsis.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now she's granting you your dream library. Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few authors have inscribed some of the books? Go ahead -- let your imagination run free!

Ignoring the practicality of lugging all of my books upstairs, I have often mentioned to my husband that I would like to build a second story onto our house. The second story would be the home library. Maybe a spiral staircase leading up to the second floor from our living room. A little bathroom off to the side. Wall to wall bookshelves filled with books, those that have been read and those I have yet to read. They certainly will not be books for decoration only. There would be a love seat, perhaps, or a couple of comfortable armchairs. I would move the home office into the library as well, where both my husband and I can set up our computers and spend hours reading, gaming, or blog hopping. There would be a big window facing the street, which would include spots for both the dog and cat to lounge at their leisure, keeping us company.

Anyone who has not yet participated in the meme, please do give it a try!


  1. I couldn't get through Brave New World either Wendy. I've tried twice so far. I also agree with you about Jane Eyre. Love it. I'm rereading this year for one of my challenges. Have a great weekend!

    Susan L.

  2. Ooh a spiral staircase leading up to the library - I like the sound of that!

  3. I've been irrationally cringing from doing this meme - too much thinking for me this week. :-) I'm enjoying reading other people's responses, though, and yours are, as always, very well thought out.

  4. Susan - I am glad to hear that I wasn't the only one who couldn't get through Brave New World.

    Jane Eyre is such a great book. I hope you enjoy reading it again!

    Iliana - I love the look of a spiral staircase. :-)

    Florinda - It took awhile for me to get in the mood to do it, so take your time and it will come to you. :-)

  5. Enjoyed reading your answers, Wendy. And I love your library - imagine having a spiral staircase leading to it, wow! :D

  6. I love the idea of your library! And you'd only have to lug the books up once. :) And isn't that what a husband is for? hehe

  7. I want a spiral staircase, too! That library sounds wonderful.

  8. Wendy, I got tagged for this meme yesterday, but haven't had time to do it. I agree on the Russian. I may be a wierd one, but I love reading Russian literature. Knowing Russian would be really helpful, especially when I was reading War & Peace!

  9. Oh, wow, your library sounds fantastic!

    Like you I think I would tire of reading a book year after year, but Jane Eyre certainly is a good one.

    I read Gone with the Wind a long time ago but I loved it. I think I'd actually like to re-read it some day. The movie is nowhere near as good as the book.

  10. You should read GONE WITH THE WIND. It's not like the movie, which is a bit schmaltzy but I think that was mainly because it was made in 1939. The book is actually pretty interesting and is different in quite a few ways from the movie. I do recommend it highly.

  11. Melody - Thanks, Melody. :-) I've always wanted to have a spiral staircase in my house.

    Eva - Very true. Only once. :-) And my husband is plenty strong enough to carry all those books up too. Haha

    Nikki - Every home library should have one. :-)

    Kristy - I look forward to reading your answers, Kristy!

    As I read War and Peace, I think French might be a good language to know too. Tolstoy sure likes his French!

    Nicola - I just can't see reading the same book year after year. Rereading again with a few years in between, absolutely.

    Karen - Maybe someday I will get around to trying it. :-)

  12. Russian would be cool as well as Ancient Greek. I would love to meet Elizabeth Bennet over afternoon tea.

  13. I enjoyed Brave New World a lot. Do give it another chance one of these days!

    I am not at all drawn to Gone with the Wind either. It's the only one of the books I'm meant to be reading for the Pulitzer Project that I wonder if I'll ever get to. Plus, what I've heard about the racist nuances in it bothers me.

    Your dream library sounds lovely!

  14. There are more than racist nuances in GWTW. It's racist. Product of its times, but jarring nowadays. Can you imagine? I can't.

    You didn't select a book for your VIP! That's the one thing stopping me from doing this meme myself.

    I enjoyed your answers! Libraries must have spiral staircases.

  15. Rhinoa - Ancient Greek! That would be a good one to know. I would like to meet Elizabeth Bennet too. She's one of my favorite characters, I think.

    Nymeth - I'm sure I will try again someday. :-)

    I've never been particularly interested in reading it. I hadn't heard about the racist nuances before, but it makes sense considering when it was written.

    Carrie K. - That might make it especially difficult to read then. With certain books and movies I have no trouble keeping in mind something is a period piece, but not always.

    I know I didn't. I couldn't think of a specific book. I took the easy way out. I noticed reading other people's responses that I wasn't the only one. Not that that excuses it, of course. ;-)

  16. I read GWTW when I was 13 and loved it. It holds a special place in my heart, but I refuse to re-read it - just in case it loses its luster! =)


  17. Whew! I have been trying to post a comment but the window wouldn't pop up! Great answers! I love Jane Eyre too and wouldn't mind visiting her once a year!

  18. I love GWTW! The book is so much better than the movie and it spans such an interesting time in this country. I'd suggest you give it a try. It's an epic romance, too, one of the few romances I can claim to love.

    And Nymeth, the racist tones in it are not a lot worse than the ones in TKAM, really. It's set in a time when slavery was still a fact of life, so there really wouldn't have been a way to set a book in the deep South at that time without them.


  19. Jill - I'm learning that some favorite childhood TV shows are better left watched in the past. :-) I can see why you'd want to treasure the experience of your first GWTW reading like that.

    Jaimie - Thanks! I am glad you finally made it through to comment. :-)

    CJ - I'm not sure calling it an epic romance is the way to win me over. ;-)

  20. Your dream library sounds perfect!! I love the idea of a spiral staircase. We had a little spiral staircase in our flat in London. It was a bit of a pain if we were carrying anything bulky but it did look nice. :)

  21. Hi Wendy, I am so happy to be back and now can't wait to visit all my blog buddies. Before I head for dinner, here I am! (I just woke up from a deep and restful 6-hour slumber.)

    Melody tagged me for this meme too. I have "Gone with the Wind" in my TBR but yet to touch it. I haven't watch the movie so don't know what is was about but I heard lots of things about it. Will see when the mood hits and I'll just start reading. :)

    Gotta go now but I'll be back! :D

  22. Tanabata - I was thinking I could have a little lift added in to help carry the new books up. That might take care of any difficulties that we might run into with the spiral staircase.

    Alice - I am glad you are back! You've been missed!

  23. The bathroom is sheer genius.

    I agree that GWTW, the book is much better than the movie. But it's huge and I don't feel a need to read it again. I was 14 then and I'm not sure I could handle Scarlett now.

  24. A little book lift is brilliant! I hope you get your dream library someday. :)

  25. Framed - I'm practical that way. :-)

    I hope so too, Tanabata!

  26. Erin - One of my distant relatives had one in their log cabin home and I just loved the look of it. I have wanted one ever since.

  27. When you build your library, I imagine you're going to have a lot of visitors :-) I'll be one of them! Will have trouble getting me to budge from that loveseat!

  28. I truly enjoy reading your answers, very fun and informative. I feel exactly the same way about the question on language--was tempted to pick Russian but I realize I have blogged too much in that regard and I settle on Spanish, which I have dropped twice in college.

    Right on for the book recommendation. I've been relying on friends' taste in movies to give them gifts of books. A few people have greatly enjoyed The Namesake after they have seen the movie.

  29. Aarti - All book loving visitors will be welcome! I'll have to hire a catering service, perhaps . . .

    Matt - Thank you. I took Spanish classes both in high school and college, but I still never managed to pick it up. I was so afraid to practice speaking it and most of my knowledge of the language has disappeared because of the lack of use. I wish I had the talent for learning languages.

    Movies do seem to be a good place to start when recommending books, I have found. The Namesake was a great movie--and, of course, a great book.

  30. I started reading GWTW my first semester of grad school. I almost gave up on it, but I decided to make it a part of our semester project. I learned a lot and it forced me to finish it, but I didn't think it was GREAT. I was really disappointed by the ending. :) And I'm not a big fan of Scarlett.

    Russian was my first thought as well--not sure why.

  31. Trish - It's definitely a favorite for many. One can never tell. Maybe someday I'll be interested enough to read it, but it's not even on my radar at the moment.


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